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Satellites respond to Mississippi floods

DMCii, SSTL’s imaging subsidiary, has been responding to an International Charter: Space and Major Disasters emergency activation for the flooding of Mississippi river in Central Midwest USA. The current flooding is approaching records set 84 years ago and it’s the first time in 40 years the level of the Mississippi has forced the floodgates to be opened. The UK has just taken over the chairmanship of the International Charter, and we take a closer look at the emergencies around the world that DMCii is providing satellites images for right now. Fed by rainwater and the spring thaw, the Mississippi river and its tributaries have caused massive flooding upstream, and officials have said the flooding in Louisiana is the worst since 1927. About 25,000 people and 11,000 buildings could be adversely affected and the disaster’s Project Manager in the USA is using data from Charter members, including DMCii, to assess the situation. The flooding in the Mississippi delta has required an extended imaging campaign as the floods develop.
Flooding in Kentucky USA, before and after taken on 30/09/2010 and 04/05/2011. UK-DMC2 Image (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.
Flooding in Kentucky USA, before and after taken on 30/09/2010 and 04/05/2011. UK-DMC2 Image (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.
The dry and unusually warm spring has brought wild fires to several parts of the UK and DMCii has recently been "called in" to image a fire that broke out at the Belmont moor in Lancashire. On the other side of the World Mexico has also recently experienced raging fires, causing an activation of the International Charter. DMCii responded by tasking UK-DMC2 to image the area. Wild fires are common in Mexico at this time of year, but high temperatures and strong winds have meant that the country has experienced the worst fire season in 30 years, with the northern part of the country hit especially hard.
Fire in Belmont, UK 29/04/2011. UK-DMC2 Image (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.
Fire in Belmont, UK 29/04/2011. UK-DMC2 Image (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.
DMCii operates the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, a currently five-strong commercial satellite constellation made available on behalf of the UK as part of the Charter satellite fleet. Emergency on-Call Officers (ECOs) make themselves ready on a rotation basis to respond to International disasters on a 24/7 basis and task the Charter’s combined satellites in the event of an activation. DMCii also has a place on the International Charter’s Executive Secretariat, which implements the day-to-day operation of the Charter. The Constellation recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary at a Consortium meeting in London, focusing on how the constellation can be developed in the future, which you could read about here on the Space blog.
Fires in Mexico 08/04/2011. UK-DMC2 Image (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.
Fires in Mexico 08/04/2011. UK-DMC2 Image (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.

 

 
 

 

 

20 May 20110 Comments1 Comment

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